The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies played a wild series over the weekend. The two teams combined for 92 runs, making it the highest-scoring four-game set in baseball history. Collectively, the two sides hit .379/.429/.645 with 17 home runs in 387 plate appearances. Even so, the series’s most bizarre element concerned the ejection of a player rather than a ball.
On Saturday, three Padres were tossed by home-plate umpire Bill Welke: third baseman Manny Machado, manager Andy Green, and pitcher Matt Strahm. As it turns out, Strahm may have been caught in the midst of friendly fire.
Whereas Machado and Green earned their ejections by bickering about the strike zone, Strahm evidently was banished over a misunderstanding: his cheering on of teammate Phil Maton was confused by Welke as taunting him — in so many words, Welke thought he was hearing “Bill” when Strahm explains he was saying “Phil.”
Here’s more, courtesy of MLB.com:
“[I was] cheering on my teammate, Phil Maton,” Strahm said. “I think the confusion of ‘Phil’ and ‘Bill’ was what happened there. All it was was, ‘Come on, Phil.'”
Perhaps Strahm is fibbing, but we’re choosing to believe he’s telling the truth. In part because the world needs more friends like Strahm, and in part because there’s something about a person doing his best to be a kind and caring human and getting punished for it. Hey, that’s life.
At minimum, give him credit for coming up with an explanation ripped straight from a sitcom that wasn’t something lame, like, “That wasn’t my criticism, I was just holding it for a friend.”